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BTS Fans Slam Article for Misrepresenting K-Pop

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  • BTS was on the cover of the Hollywood Reporter, and fans were not happy with the article that accompanied it. 
  • Many accused the story of being xenophobic by playing into negative stereotypes about K-pop.
  • They also believe that the story misquoted BTS member RM and were upset that the story mentioned the death of a member of another K-pop band.
  • Some believe this speaks to gaps in the ways Western media covers K-pop.

Fans React to The Hollywood Reporter’s Article

BTS fans are criticizing The Hollywood Reporter after they were upset with the magazine’s representation of K-pop in Wednesday’s highly anticipated cover story. 

Both The Hollywood Reporter and BTS were excitedly teasing the release of the story, which was written by Senior Writer Seth Abramovitch. Once it went live, however, fans were not happy with what they read. 

Twitter users accused the article of painting a xenophobic picture of K-pop by describing it as a cut-throat genre that dehumanizes its artists. Abramovitch compared K-pop to the Hunger Games and said that the artists are kept on “leashes.” Some readers then thought this played into the Western stereotype that K-pop artists are worked to such an excessive degree that they’re being viewed more like robots than people. 

While writing a laundry list of complaints about the story, one user said they were tired of the “narrative of the K-Pop machine, as if the Western world does not also carefully curate talent in an industry peppered with the same issues.”

Another said that the stereotypes don’t just exist about K-pop but Asian culture in general. 

Fans then thought this narrative crossed a line when it brought up the death of artist Jonghyun, a member of the band SHINee. His tragic passing is a sensitive topic among K-pop fans. 

“Only the best of the best wind up in an actual K-pop band — while some don’t survive at all,” the article reads. “In 2017, the industry drew intense scrutiny after a member of SHINee, another popular K-pop band, took his own life, writing in his suicide note that he felt ‘broken on the inside.’”

Many were frustrated his death was used as an example to fuel the narrative that the K-pop industry is toxic. Some noted that his death was connected mainly to his depression, not just his work.

Others called it xenophobic to paint K-pop in an incriminating light, something they claim writers often do intentionally.

Fans Accuse THR of Misquoting

Their criticism of the story did not stop there. Many fans also believe that BTS member Kim Nam-joon, also known as RM, was falsely quoted or that his quotes may have been misinterpreted or taken out of context.

“We have to consider ourselves not just better [than other K-pop acts], but the best,” RM is quoted saying in the story. “When we’re out there on that stage, we’re there to conquer. We think we’re the ones.”

Many fans believe RM would not say something so confident or cocky in a major interview because in past interviews, he has been humble about BTS’ success. In one clip he said, “We are not the kings of pop.”

While there is no audio recording or tangible proof that he was misquoted, fans think that presenting this quote plays into yet another stereotype about K-pop as a genre. They believe it makes the artists look arrogant and smug. Some thought the band had grounds to sue for defamation. 

Journalists Respond

Fans were not alone in their critiques of the piece. Some journalists also took to Twitter to express their frustrations with the article. 

“Imagine wrangling dream access — dinner! soju! — with the biggest band in the world to write………..that,” said Senior Writer at Vulture, E. Alex Chung. 

He also joked about the trend of reporters who don’t speak Korean being sent to cover Korean bands like BTS.

Jae-Ha Kim, who has written for the Los Angeles Times, Variety, and various other outlets said it was clear the writer did not know enough about K-pop, BTS, or Korean culture and that this often shows when Western reporters cover K-pop stars. She specifically referred to a line in the article that says “maknae” is a K-pop term used to refer to the baby of the band and adds that this is not fully true. 

“It is an actual Korean word that predates K-pop,” she said. 

“There’s something to be said for getting a fresh perspective, but offer Korean artists the same respect you would a Western artist,” she added. “Would you fly a reporter who doesn’t know anything about Adele to England to interview her?”

Abramovich has not responded to the backlash, though, not all BTS fans were upset with his story. 

“What was inaccurate? What was offensive? What is the problem?” one fan asked.

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Mark Ruffalo, Jameela Jamil, Kristin Bell, and Other Celebs at Odds Over Ellen-Bush Friendship

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  • Ellen DeGeneres was spotted laughing with former President George W. Bush at an NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys Sunday.
  • Critics slammed the apparent friendship online, referencing their opposing political views. Ellen responded on her show Tuesday, telling her viewers to treat everyone with kindness no matter their opinions.
  • Celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon condemned her response while others like Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Bell supported her message.
  • The comedian’s defenders faced their own backlash, including Jameela Jamil who reversed her initial praise.

Bush and DeGeneres Spotted Laughing at NFL Game

Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has prompted a national debate about kindness in the face of political differences after she was seen laughing with former President George W. Bush at an NFL game on Sunday.

DeGeneres, who faced a heavy amount of online criticism following the event, addressed the backlash directly on Tuesday’s episode of Ellen. 

“People were upset. They thought, why is this gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?” she said. “But a lot of people were mad and did what people do when they’re mad: they tweet. But here’s one tweet that I loved. This person says, ‘Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.” 

Other tweets directed at DeGeneres were less praiseful, with many people taking issue with Bush’s association with the Iraq War and his policies on LGBTQ rights.

“Ellen hanging out with her buddy G.W. Bush the war criminal and guy who called for a ban on same sex marriages…,” one user wrote. “Really, really low standards there Ellen, and pretty pathetic…”

In her response, DeGeneres explained that she didn’t know Bush would be at the game or sitting next to her, but she also said that was beside the point.

“Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush,” she said. “In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different.” 

DeGeneres then continued, emphasizing her point by saying she didn’t agree with her friends who wear fur but that they were still her friends, another comment that eventually resulted in backlash.

“But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” she continued. “When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean everyone.” 

Celebrities React to Ellen’s Explanation

Even after Ellen addressed the concerns, many still criticized the comedian for boiling down the issue to a difference in opinions.

George Bush, his administration, and his colleagues actively discriminated and worked against the LGBT community, of which you are a member,” one person tweeted.

Some of that criticism even came from fellow celebrities, including Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon.

“Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars—emotional & otherwise—inflicted on our military that served his folly),” Ruffalo said, “we can’t even begin to talk about kindness.”

On the other side of the argument, celebrities such as Kristen Bell and Blake Shelton praised DeGeneres for her commitment to kindness.

“She’s my [Queen]” Bell said in an Instagram post.

Source: kristenanniebell

Reese Witherspoon also thanked DeGeneres, calling her message an important reminder; however, soon after receiving backlash of her own, she deleted her tweet.

Source: Reese Witherspoon

“The privilege reaks,” one person said in response to Witherspoon. “There are thousands of people in the middle east who don’t get to be friends with people with “different views” because they’re dead thanks to [Bush]. And he spent his presidency trying to strip away LGBT rights, so nah. This monologue is pure class privilege.” 

Jameela Jamil Defends DeGeneres

In a somewhat similar situation to Witherspoon, Bell’s The Good Place co-star Jameela Jamil backtracked her praise of DeGeneres after “learning” from criticism directed at her.

“I’ve never seen someone in the public eye handle something like this, in this way,” Jamil, 33, said in the Tuesday tweet. “And use it to make what is actually an incredibly necessary point in our society. It was just very strong and interesting.”

Source: jameelajamil
Source: jameelajamil
Source: jameelajamil

The following morning, Jamil deleted her initial posts and followed up by saying:

“Ooooof learning today about the full extent of Bush’s heinous presidency… we weren’t taught much about him at school, we just heard he was stupid…(we were dealing with our own epic nightmare of a prime minister back then). What a monstrous leader. I now understand the rage..”

Jamil, who is British, still faced backlash following her second tweet, this time from people pointing out that she was 23 when Bush left office. The criticism then prompted Jamil to once again respond. 

“Very interesting to see some pompous responses from people because someone from the other side of the world didn’t learn about a president in your country when they were a teenager,” she said Are you experts on all world leaders from back then? Ridiculing learning and growth is weird.”

“I love learning and growth and massively applaud anyone who says they don’t/didn’t know the answer and seeks it out,” she continued. “I personally think that’s cool and hope that we all feel safe to do that, so we can all evolve together. #progressnotperfection” 

See what others are saying: (USA Today) (Fox News) (The Independent)

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Cardi B Hits Back at People Who Said She Made Up Her Sexual Harassment Claims

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  • Cardi B furiously condemned people online who accused her of fabricating an incident where she said she was sexually harassed by a photographer who exposed himself at one of her shoots. 
  • The rapper shared the story on WE TV’s Untold Stories of Hip Hop, which aired Thursday night, emphasizing how many women in the entertainment industry face such forms of harassment.

Cardi B’s Instagram Live

Cardi B blasted people on Instagram Live Wednesday who accused her of lying about being sexually harassed by a photographer during a magazine photoshoot.

“When is there going to be a #MeToo movement in the urban world, where this shit really be happening?” she said. “And then you got these dusty, crusty fuck ass bitches on the comments like, ‘Oh, she’s lying.’ Bitch, lie about what? Lie about what? What I got to lie for? N****s really try to take advantage of girls.”

Cardi B defended her claim by saying she was not looking for sympathy. The rapper continued, saying that female strippers and Instagram models have experienced similar instances of sexual harassment. Additionally, she highlights similar issues pertaining to young women “in the hood.”

“N****s will go to [the] stripclub hit you up on the internet and try to finesse you out your pussy if you don’t have the proper representation for a dream they sell,” she also said in an Instagram comment. “I be saying this shit cause there’s ma young girls that have the young mentality I had…”

Alluding to her own experiences, she details how she’s seen men take advantage of women, first asking for pictures then promising favors like photoshoots in return for other sexually explicit acts.

The Harassment Claim

In the pilot episode of WE TV’s Untold Stories of Hip Hop, the rapper opened up about her harassment claims. 

“I will never forget how I went to shoot for this one magazine,” she said to host Angie Martinez, “and the photographer, he was just trying to get close to me. Like, ‘Yeah, you want to get in this motherfucking magazine?’ Then, he pulled his dick out. I was so fucking mad, and it’s just, like, ‘This is crazy.’”

“I was like, ‘You’re fucking bugging,’” she continued, saying she left the shoot and told the magazine owner about the situation.

She goes on to say the owner was apathetic to her complaint, replying with comments like “So…? And..?”

“When I see the Me Too movement, there’s girls from the hood, I know that they went through the same type of treatment,” she said. 

When asked if she still experiences that kind of harassment, Cardi B said, “Oh, hell no, I put you on blast on my Instagram Live. I hope the fuck you would.”

Cardi B previously opened up about that incident to Cosmopolitan last year, telling the magazine, “I bet if one of these women stands up and talks about it, people are going to say, ‘So what? You’re a ho. It don’t matter.’”

See what others are saying: (People) (Yahoo) (NBC News)

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Sony and Marvel Strike Deal for One More Spider-Man Film

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  • Disney and Sony reached a deal allowing Marvel to produce one more Spider-Man film for Sony.
  • Their new agreement also allows Spider-Man to appear in one more Marvel film.
  • Representatives from the studios, as well as Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man, shared their excitement about the news, as did fans of the franchise.

Disney and Sony Reach Deal

Spider-Man has been through a lot in the past year. After being brought back from a five-year blip, he fought in a battle and watched his paternal figure, Tony Stark, die in the aftermath. His school trip to Europe was thwarted by Mysterio, throwing a major wrench in his romantic plans with MJ. And the custody battle between his quarreling parents, Sony and Marvel, got more complicated than ever, kicking him out of his beloved home of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But thankfully, Spidey doesn’t have to worry about the latter anymore. 

Sony and Disney, Marvel’s parent company, have reached a new deal. Marvel will now produce the third film in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man reign for Sony. The movie is scheduled to sling its way into theatres on July 16, 2021.

This comes a little over a month after the two studios failed to reach an agreement on co-financing the character’s franchise. Dating back to 2015, Sony started lending Spider-Man’s use to Marvel. Marvel took home merchandising rights and 5% of first-dollar gross, while Sony financed the films and raked in the rest of the cash. One of the key parts of their deal, however, was that Marvel could use the friendly neighborhood superhero on their MCU films. 

Once their deal failed, Spider-Man was effectively booted from the universe that included his on-screen friends like Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers. This left fans concerned about the future of Holland’s arc as the character since Tony Stark’s torch had been handed off to Peter Parker. 

While the exact terms of their agreement have not been made public, we do know that Spider-Man will get the chance to appear in another Marvel movie.

Studios Share Excitement

Heads from both studios said they were happy about Spider-Man’s future. Marvel President Kevin Feige released a statement saying that “you never know what surprises the future might hold.”

“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” he said. “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”

Chief Communications Officer for Sony, Robert Lawson said Disney and Sony have a “great collaboration.”

“We have had a great collaboration over the last four years, and our mutual desire to continue was equal to that of the many fans,” he said. “We are delighted to be moving forward together.”

Cast Responds

Peter Parker and his classmates also seemed thrilled. Holland, who has played the lead in two standalone films and three MCU films celebrated by posting a clip from The Wolf of Wall Street to Instagram.

“You know what? I’m not leaving,” Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort says to an applauding crowd. “I’m not leaving. I’m not fucking leaving. The show goes on.”

Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk in the Avengers films commented, “Back in a snap! Had a feeling we would see you again.”

Zendaya, who plays his love interest MJ, tweeted a gif of Spider-Man dancing. 

She also posted a picture of Jon Watts, who directed Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home giving a thumbs up to her Instagram story.

Photo via Instagram @Zendaya

Fans have also been happy about the news.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Ringer)

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